Bidding wars are down, but will the trend continue?

Aly J. Yale
Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports Contributor
July 11, 2019 - 2 min read

Bye, bye, bidding wars — for now

The number of bidding wars just keeps slipping — but those days might be numbered. According to new data, just 12 percent of buyers faced a bidding war last month — marking a 52 percent drop from a year earlier. But will the trend continue? Experts don’t expect so.

The competition cools off

According to new data from real estate brokerage Redfin, just 12 percent of buyers faced a bidding war in June — down from 16 percent in May and 52 percent over the year. In all, just one in eight offers saw a bidding war last month.

According to Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, the drop probably won’t stick around for long.

“With low mortgage interest rates luring more homebuyers off the sidelines as supply dwindles, we’re likely to see competition pick back up, especially for the most affordable homes and neighborhoods where inventory is limited and buyers are most rate-sensitive,” Fairweather said. “At Redfin, we’ve been seeing increases in the numbers of homebuyers starting their searches and going on home tours following the latest mortgage rate drops.

Here’s where the nation’s most (and least) affordable neighborhoods are

Where bidding wars dropped off most

Bidding wars dipped the most in San Francisco, where they saw a 65 percent decrease over June of last year. Despite the downtick, the city still has a high level of competition. About 28 percent of all offers saw a bidding war last month.

According to San Francisco agent Chris Jurach, competition is stiffest at lower price points.

“Bidding wars are still somewhat common in San Francisco, mostly at price points around $1 million, which is relatively inexpensive for the city, but enough to buy a modest house in a number of neighborhoods,” Jurach said. “Once you get above around $1.25 million, buyers are being more selective, leading to fewer bidding wars in those upper price ranges.

Buying a house: How to deal with tough competition

California’s San Jose also saw a big dip in competition, with just 19 percent of offers meeting a bidding war in June. That’s down from more than 60 percent one year ago.

Other cities where competition is letting up include Boston; New York City; Los Angeles; Denver, Sacramento, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and Las Vegas.

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